Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Are Foodies to Blame for the Cannibal Crime Trend?

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

In the media world we have a rule: Two is a coincidence, three is a trend. Well, there have been five very gruesome incidents of cannibalism that have occurred recently, and we're sure as heck hoping this whole human-eating thing isn't what replaces the food truck zeitgeist. First came the story of a Miami man who gnawed off the face of an unsuspecting victim in the buff. Shortly thereafter was the case of a Maryland student who canned bits of his roommate in coffee tins. And there's the kitten killer, Luka Magnotta, who murdered and consumed his partner and then fled to Europe. And let's not forget the Swedish man who allegedly took revenge on his cheating wife by cutting off and eating her lips or the Japanese fellow who had his genitals removed and prepared them for his dinner party guests. (Here in L.A. we just stick to eating placenta.)

Is all of this human-eating a sign of the zombie apocalypse? An extension of the the food world's whole animal movement? Who's to blame for all of this disturbing news?

Sure, we could accuse an incompetent legal system, ignored warning signs, displacement of responsibility from passerby, mishandled spa products, or the zombie apocolypse. But Joel Stein over at Time takes a more jovial stance,blaming to the foodie movement as a whole. Says Stein:

"After getting crispy pig’s ears atop nearly every dish at hip restaurants, maybe human flesh just doesn’t seem so weird. I’ve eaten horse and have been curious about dog and, I admit, was kind of disappointed that none of the cannibalism news stories got specific about what human tastes like—other than the Japanese one, which only reinforced my assumptions about why women don’t like to do certain things to their husbands."
Support for LAist comes from

Stein feels that even zombies would feel that extreme eater Andrew Zimmern's brain and offal eating is a bit much. But if Zimmern's bizarre ways are is at all at fault, then so is soon-to-be CNN anchor Anthony Bourdain. After all, he did recently declare that he'd be stoked to chow down on human flesh. Perhaps these were just desperate foodies copycatting Bourdain's culinary fetishism.

We think Stein is going in the wrong direction with all of this. Leave us foodies be! If there's any celebrity to point a finger at, it's Ke$ha. (Okay, finger-wagging might be the best thing to do, unless you want them to end up in Mason jar.) The girl did write a song bragging about how she's a cannibal. And let's get real: Anyone who puts dollar signs in their name is clearly responsible for the demise of society.